Use a screen reader to explore and navigate SharePoint Online

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate SharePoint Online

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to explore and navigate the app main views and elements, and to move between views and functions. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When you use SharePoint Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because SharePoint Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not SharePoint Online.

In this topic

Cycle through the main areas

To navigate in SharePoint Online and to cycle through the screen elements, press the Tab key (forward) and Shift+Tab key (backward), The main areas are:

  • Banner and site header

  • Search bar

  • Toolbar

  • Navigation pane

  • Main content area

Navigate the navigation pane

After you've signed in, SharePoint Online opens to the main view. In the main view, the navigation pane lists links to, for example, sites that you're following and recent sites. Press the Tab key to move between sections of the navigation pane, and use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the list within each section. Press Enter to make a selection.

Navigate the toolbar

In the SharePoint Online main view, the toolbar allows you to, for example, create a new site or news post. Use the Left and Right arrow keys to browse the toolbar, and press Enter to make a selection.

See also

Use a screen reader to explore Following and Recent sites list in SharePoint Online

Learn how to navigate SharePoint Online using accessible features

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with SharePoint Online

Make your SharePoint site accessible to people with disabilities

Use SharePoint Online with your keyboard and a screen reader to explore and navigate the app main views and elements, and to move between views and functions. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When you use SharePoint Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because SharePoint Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not SharePoint Online.

In this topic

Cycle through the main areas

To navigate in SharePoint Online and to cycle through the screen elements, press the Tab key (forward) and Shift+Tab key (backward), The main areas are:

  • Banner and site header

  • Search bar

  • Navigation pane

  • Toolbar

  • Main content area

Navigate the navigation pane

After you've signed in, SharePoint Online opens to the main view. In the main view, the navigation pane lists links to, for example, sites that you're following and recent sites. Press the Tab key to move between sections of the navigation pane, and use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the list within each section. Press Enter to make a selection.

In a SharePoint site, the navigation pane lists links to, for example, the home page, documents pages, and site content. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the list, and press Enter to make a selection.

Navigate the toolbar

In SharePoint Online, the toolbar allows you to, for example, create a new site, page, or file, and publish changes. Use the Left and Right arrow keys to browse the toolbar, and press Enter to make a selection. If the tool has a submenu, to browse within the submenu, use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Special considerations for SharePoint Online Modern Experience

To find your documents and pages as quickly as possible you can use the site contents page.

Navigate to a document library

Identifying a document library in the navigation pane can be difficult as the screen readers don't announce the item types as you move inside the pane. You can use the site contents page to browse the list of items and their types to make sure you find the right one.

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "Entering navigation control," followed by the current selection in the list.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Site content" and then press Enter. The site contents page opens.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "List of contents within this site," and then press the SR key+Right or Left arrow key to browse the list. You hear each item's name, modification date and time, and the item type.

  4. When you hear the document library you want, press Enter. The document library opens in a new tab in your web browser.

Note: If you know the name, part of the name, or subject of the document library, you can use Search. For instructions, go to Search for sites, document libraries, or pages.

Navigate to a page

  1. In the site home page, press the Tab key until you hear "Entering navigation control," followed by the current selection in the list.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Pages," and then press Enter. The Site Pages page opens. The focus is on the first item in the list of pages.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the page you want, and then press Enter.

  4. When you hear the page you want, press Enter. The page opens in a new tab in your web browser.

Note: If you know the name, part of the name, or subject of the page, you can use Search. For instructions, go to Search for sites, document libraries, or pages.

See also

Use a screen reader to create a team or communication site in SharePoint

Use a screen reader to add images and media to a SharePoint page

Use a screen reader to add content and text to an accessible SharePoint page

Keyboard shortcuts in SharePoint Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with SharePoint Online

Make your SharePoint site accessible to people with disabilities

Use the SharePoint Online app for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to explore and navigate the app main views and elements, and to move between views and functions.

Notes: 

In this topic

Cycle through the main areas

To navigate in the SharePoint Online app for iOS, swipe right (forward) and left (backward). The main view contains the following elements:

  • Main content area

  • Tab bar

The tab bar is located at the bottom of the screen, and contains the following tabs:

  • News: View the most recent articles from the sites you're following and frequently visit.

  • Find: Browse recently-accessed files and sites, and search for SharePoint content.

  • Me: Browse recently-viewed and saved news items, and access the app settings.

Navigate through content

When you launch the SharePoint Online app for iOS, you land on the Find tab.

  • To move through the screen elements, swipe left or right.

  • To select an item, double-tap the screen.

  • To browse within menus or lists, swipe left or right, and then, to make a selection, double-tap the screen.

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with SharePoint Online

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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